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14 october 2017, harold’s house

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

An englishman's home is his castle. Harold's backed onto a large, enclosed green where, before a ww2 rocket flattened it, a victorian school stood. The neighbours argued over what to do with their common backyard before a bold group across the stream bandied together, took out a big loan and eventually built a golf club. Harold, who had been patiently cultivating a perimeter rose garden with a couple of the other neighbours on his side was not happy. The club though was a great success and after a while all the neighbours signed-up to become members. Harold learnt to live with it. Membership brought a steady income and open access to the bar and spa; he even convinced them to refurbish it with a massive jacuzzi. The club also though brought tourists to the village, a new road and the extension on the other side eventually made the club practically a town centre: loud, rowdy and open all hours. Somehow, it just wasn't what harold wanted, so one day he walked in and handed over his resignation. The other members were rather surprised, but it was soon forgotten amidst a big discussion about the cost they'd been quoted for superfast broadband. Whilst his resignation was processed, harold, who had rheumatism and very much needed a daily dip to stop it becoming a serious health problem, continued to use the club spa, the only one in the area. He bumped into the club secretary, who was a little bit flustered, as she was trying to work out exactly how much harold's part of the club loan should be now the bank needed to set-up a whole separate repayment plan and she wanted his view on how to work it out. She also mentioned the 1974 trophy he'd captained the team to, which though it rested on harold's mantelpiece was actually club property. Harold missed their meeting the next day, but instead called the administrator, just to make sure his pass still worked. The next board meeting was tetchy. Some members enjoyed harold's company and were open to him still hanging around, especially those that knew about his rheumatism. Others though were annoyed: we're partners they said, if he wants the benefits, then stay a member. Sitting in his living room a month later, harold ignored the insistent knock at the door. He knew it was the club secretary, again, who wanted back the trophy and his pass. By him was the bank's confusing letter insisting he sign the direct debit authorisation to cover his portion of the later loan the club took out for the new bridge across the stream. He turned up the volume on the tv, but his joints were aching, so as soon as she'd gone it would be time for him to pop over for his daily dip...